Dutch museums, cinema, theatre more expensive

Dutch museums, cinema, theatre more expensive

The cost of a day out in the Netherlands has increased substantially over the last five years. Entrance fees to cinemas, theatres, museums, zoos and amusement parks have all become more expensive than in 2009. Transport and eating out costs have also risen, although less rapidly.

Cinema and theatre prices

The average price of cinema, theatre and festival tickets has increased by about 25 per cent between July 2009 and July 2014. A major influence on higher ticket fees was the increased VAT (or BTW) rate for performing arts, which rose from 6 to 19 per cent in June 2011.

The higher VAT rate lasted for 12 months before returning to six per cent mid-2012. After that period ticket prices did not return to the pre-higher VAT level, due in part to major budget cuts in cultural subsidies, introduced by the Dutch government in 2013.

Theme parks, zoos and museums

Amusement parks, zoos and museums have also seen a rise in entrance costs of around 19 percent over the last five years. This increase is almost twice the rate of inflation for the same period.

One reported reason for increased fees is that, to draw more visitors, operators are working to improve their attractions via modernisation and expansion.

The cost of getting there

Transport costs to attraction destinations have also gone up over the past five years, with public transport and taxi fares increasing by an average of 17 per cent.

Car travel costs have increased even more, with petrol prices rising by 27 per cent, and parking fees rising by an average of 20 per cent over the same period.

Eating out

As lunch or dinner out is often included during a day trip or excursion it is also interesting to see price tendencies in this field.

The cost of eating in (fast food) restaurants or purchasing a take-away meal has also risen by an average of 12 per cent since 2009.

The price increase of 12 per cent is almost exactly in line with inflation rates over the same period. Specifically, take-away meal costs saw an increase of 12 per cent, but for fast food restaurants the lower increase of 9 per cent actually falls below the inflation rate.

Evolution of Dutch cultural passes

Over the last five years the cost of the iconic Museumkaart has also notably increased, with the cost of an adult membership rising from less than 40 euros in 2011 to 54,95 in July 2014.

Despite the higher fee, Museumkaart subscriptions have reached record levels, with more than a million card holders in May this year. The Museumkaart membership allows free entry to most museums throughout the Netherlands.

New cultural passes, such as We Are Public, are also emerging in response to budget cuts and higher admission prices. The cultural membership subscription offers free or discounted entrance to concerts, theatre, dance performances, films and exhibitions for a monthly fee of 15 euros.

Sources: CBS, Volkskrant

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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